Things to do in Portland, Oregon

101 Things to do in Portland Oregon

Are you looking for things to do in Portland, Oregon? 

Then this is the perfect guide for you! 

Journey to the PNW into the Northwest corner of Oregon state wherein lies its biggest and most vibrant city- Portland, a city known for having character and an abundance of things to do!

With Mt. Hood towering in the distance and murals on almost every city block, Portland quite literally has something to see around every corner. So whether you are a die hard foodie or a family of four (or both) looking for fun things to do in Portland, Oregon this list will give you 101 ideas of things to do while visiting Portland!

20 Things to do in Portland Oregon for Foodies

Known for its unique and local appetite, Portland, Oregon is not short of a good place to eat. From burgers to breweries, here is a list of food options that will have you leaving happy and well fed. 

  1. Fried Egg I’m in Love: Fried Egg I’m in Love is a crowd favorite, not only for its unique names but for its great selection of fried egg sandwiches. 
  2. Cadillac Café : This one of a kind café provides you with a luxurious opportunity to dine next to a vintage Cadillac. 
  3. Proud Mary: Come for the Australian coffee and stay for the delicious breakfast, this coffee house is a Portland favorite. 
  4. Hazel Room: This quaint little tea house and breakfast place is a great place breakfast or brunch!
  5. Bamboo Sushi: Certified sustainable since 2008, Bamboo Sushi Portland ensures its guests that the best care was taken to create its delicious and sustainable menu. 
  6. Portland Burger: With its guitar shaped bar and concert stage décor, its a great place to just enjoy the atmosphere and high energy vibe while you dig in to one of their delicious burgers. Checkout their website!
  7. Eem Thai BBQ: Eem’s outdoor booths are an experience of their own. These candle lit, covered tables allow for an intimate dining atmosphere for two or even a group! 
  8. Life of Pie: Choose your toppings (yes, even pineapple) or stick to the classics, as Life of Pie is sure to fulfill your pizza pie dreams.
  9. Portland City Grill: Located on the 30th floor of the Bancorp Tower, this fine dining seafood house offers an almost 360 view of Portland’s tree filled cityscape. 
  10. Paley’s Place Bistro and Bar: A residential house that’s been transformed into an intimate fine dining space that’s great for date night or any special occasions.
  11. The Lift Off Lounge: The Lift Off Lounge is mid century modern, space themed lounge that serves beautifully crafted cocktails and a small menu of salads, sides, and sandwiches.
  12. The Alibi Tiki Lounge: Escape the weather  in this tiki style cocktail bar that’s full of energy with ocean themed drinks and nightly karaoke.  
  13. Circa 33: A great place to have a drink with a bar that takes a ladder to reach the top but the real secret lies behind a mysterious bookshelf… 
  14. Bible Club PDX: Step back in time at this western style tavern with a soft speakeasy feel. 
  15. Steeplejack Brewing Company: Previously a beautiful cathedral ceiling church now a well enjoyed brewery. Check out their website!
  16. Bakeshop: A highly rated bakery with simple décor and yummy baked treats. 
  17. Toadstool Cupcakes: Truffle covered, cream topped cupcakes are an excellent cure for any sweet tooth with this quirky cupcake shop! 
  18. Piedmont Station Food Carts: Pizza, tacos, BBQ, and coffee this food cart courtyard is a perfect gathering place for any tastebuds.. 
  19. Pod 28 Food Carts: A gem of diverse and cultural food options, this food cart location is a local favorite. 
  20. Hawthorne Asylum: Have a seat next to the open fire pit at this spooky, mural filled  food cart courtyard. 

10 Ways to Get Outdoors in Portland Oregon!

Unlike most cities, Portland,Oregon is well known for its green spaces and outdoor activities. Here are a list of options to get outside and enjoy the natural side of Portland. 

  1. Multnomah Falls: 30 miles east of Portland, this magnificent rushing waterfall stands over 600 feet tall, making it the tallest in Oregon! View this website for more details!
  2. Willamette Park: This waterfront park is a perfect natural space to enjoy a day on the water. Keep your eyes out for local wildlife like birds and beavers.
  3. Cathedral Park: Showcasing the tall looming towers of the St John’s Bridge, this park offers a unique view of one of Portland’s architectural masterpieces.
  4. Overlook Park: To get a better view of the city,  check out Overlook Park. Offering leashed and off leash dog areas, it’s also a great place to bring your furry friends.
  5. Forest Park: Want to escape the cityscape all together? Forest park offers 80 miles of some densely wooded trails.
  6. Washington Park: Also a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, this beautifully landscaped garden is a well manicured wonderland.
  7. Powell Butte Nature Park: Accessible trails and breathtaking views make this an excellent place to spend time in nature!
  8. Mt Tabor Park: A park and nature space located on an inactive volcano in the middle of town? Portland’s got it! View this website for more information!
  9. Biking: It’s no secret Portland loves biking! So grab a bike and join a bike tour or utilize the  bike friendly streets as a way to see the city.
  10. Kayaking: Portland’s second favorite mode of transportation might just be a kayak. Grab a boat and hit the Willamette River.

31 Things to do in Portland Oregon with Kids 

Spend some time with the kiddos with one of these kid friendly options.

  1. Portland Zoo: Birds, bears, and bullfrogs, the Portland Zoo is great way to explore over 200 species of the animal kingdom right there in the city. 
  2. A to Zoo: Get up close to these painted creatures as Mike Bennett’s brilliant creations come to life in the A to Zoo.
  3. Westmoreland Playground: Get barefoot and start exploring as this playground is a fun and interesting way for kids to interact with the natural world. View their website!
  4. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI): Need a rainy day activity with an educational experience? Check out the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
  5. Play Street Museum: With its own grocery store and doctors office, this miniature indoor village is both fun and engaging!
  6. Oaks Amusement Park: For your daredevils in the bunch, check out Oaks Amusement Park for a  roller coaster adventure. 
  7. Glowing Greens Mini Golf: 13 holes of glowing mini golf wonderland! 
  8. Belmont Goats: Fun for both adults and kids, the Belmont Goats are an adorable way to spend some time in Portland.
  9. Play Date PDX: An indoor playground to let your kids run free while you enjoy great food and drinks.
  10. VR Arcade: Escape reality all together in this kid friendly Virtual Reality café. 
  11. Museums in Portland Oregon: From classic artwork to oddities and peculiarities, Portland offers a wide variety of spaces to ooh and ahh at.
  12. Portland Art Museum: A must see collection of diverse artists and engaging exhibits.
  13. Historical Society: Check out some of Oregon’s rich history here at the Historical Society Portland.
  14. Oregon Maritime Museum: Call ahead for a time to check out vintage but fully restored steam powered vessels.
  15. Freakybuttrue: True to it’s name, this museum is a collection of oddities and peculiarities that is sure to have your head spin.
  16. Starks Vacuum: A step back in time to the history of…the vacuum cleaner.
  17. Lan Su Chinese Garden: A breathtaking garden filled with ornate Chinese architecture and native plants.
  18. Oregon Holocaust Museum: A celebration of Jewish heritage and a remembrance of Jewish history. 
  19. Pittock Mansion: A modern marvel from the early 1900s from one of Portland’s most influential families. 
  20. Portland Police Museum: An informative look into the history of the Portland Police Department.
  21. Puppet Museum: Meet some familiar friends and enjoy new characters at the spectacular Portland Puppet Museum!
  22. Oregon Rail Heritage Center: Check out the history of Portland’s railroads and it’s record as the only city to own two working steam locomotives! View their website here!
  23. Chinatown Museum: Celebrating Chinese American culture and Portland’s own Chinatown district.
  24. Japanese Museum: Experience Japanese American life in Portland at the time of WWII. 
  25. Museum of Natural and Cultural History: Explore both our natural and social world at Portland’s Museum or Natural and Cultural History.
  26. Architecture Heritage: A interesting look into some of the city’s unique and historical architecture.
  27. Zymoglyophic: Take one of the worlds only sneak peeks at the Zymoglyophic Region at this bizarre and fascinating museum.
  28. USS Blueback Submarine: Check out this massive underwater marvel at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry!
  29. Jewish Heritage Museum:A tribute to the Jewish experience in Portland with ever changing exhibits of art and education.
  30. Native American Art Exhibit: Showcasing Native American Artists and History inside the Portland Art Museum. 
  31. Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals: Just a short 19 mile drive to this rock lovers paradise! 

10 Things to do in Portland Oregon for Date nights

Grab your partner and enjoy this list of date night ideas!

  1. International Rose Test Garden: Take a moment to smell the roses as you stroll through the beautiful International Rose Test Garden with your partner.
  2. Hollywood Theatre: Take in a movie at this gothic style, vintage movie theater.
  3. Studio One: Want a more luxurious movie night? Don’t miss the lounge style Studio One theaters.
  4. Mad Genius Escape Room: Team up with your partner or bring a group of friends to test your puzzle solving skills in one of Portland’s many escape rooms. View their website here!
  5. DIY Bar: Grab a drink and put your creativity to work, this DIY craft bar is a great idea for a first date.
  6. Ground Kontrol: Challenge your partner at Pinball or Pac-Man at this futuristic yet old school arcade and bar.
  7. Funhouse Lounge: A funhouse comedy performance venue with great food and entertainment. 
  8. Witches Castle: Take a walk through Forest Park to this bewitching castle in the woods.
  9. Mills End Park: This park is great for two because that’s all that can fit in the smallest park in the world!
  10. Shanghai Tunnels and Portland Underground: Now offering online tours, Shanghai Tunnels is a great way to get close to your partner as you navigate Portland’s underground. 

13 Tours and Sightseeing in Portland Oregon

With an abundance of stunning murals, sculptures, and art districts, Portland is a great place to take a tour or simply self navigate all the cool nooks and crannies the city has.

  1. Tiny House Hotel: Take a peek into one a Portland’s tiniest hotels. 
  2. Pink Trolley: A well known company for sightseeing Portland, Pink Trolley is one of the best ways to enjoy the area. View their website for more information!
  3. Mural Tours: Portland is known for its murals, so get out your camera and enjoy the stunning outdoor artwork. 
  4. Farm Tours: Go straight to the source with a tour of Portland’s local farms and fisheries.
  5. River Cruise: With plenty of waterways in the area, a river cruise is a fun and unique way to see the cityscape or even escape the city all together. 
  6. Portland White Stag Sign: You can’t miss a chance to take a photo of the infamous neon Portland Oregon sign! 
  7. Cool Neighborhoods: Check out one of Portland’s many diverse neighborhoods from the Alberta Art District to the mansions of Nob Hill.
  8. The Grotto: Even if you’re not religious, the Grotto is a beautiful outdoor sanctuary that’s worth the reverence. 
  9. Transcendence: Ever wanted to see a giant fish swimming through a building? Transcendence by Keith Jellum has you covered. 
  10. Wishing Tree: Make a wish and tie it with intention at one of Portland’s many wishing trees. 
  11. Portlandia: Visit the second largest copper statue in the U.S. next to the Statue of Liberty!
  12. Portland’s Tiny Horse Ring: Keep your eyes peeled for these tiny animals giving use to outdated horse rings located all around the city. 
  13. Bridgetown: With 12 connecting bridges, Portland is a great place to appreciate these massive overwater thoroughfares.  

10 Spots for Shopping in Portland Oregon 

You won’t always find outlet malls and box stores here in Portland but you will not be disappointed at some of the unique shops and markets around the city. Take a day and explore the local findings.

  1. Paxton Gate: A store packed with marvels of the natural and scientific world. 
  2. Saturday Market: If you happen to be in Portland on a Saturday, don’t miss out on this massive downtown market!
  3. Farmers Market: Portland loves it’s local produce and so will you at one of the many Farmers Markets. 
  4. Powell’s Books: Portland’s most beloved bookstore has something for everyone. 
  5. Vintage Pink: Appreciate vintage furniture and artifacts at this retro vintage store. 
  6. Vintage Clothes: Choose from one of Portland’s many vintage clothing stores to revamp your wardrobe or simply enjoy clothing from decades past. 
  7. Flutter: A colorful little shop of unique gifts and charming  knick knacks. 
  8. Memento: A Portland gift shop with locally made and handcrafted products!
  9. Really Good Stuff: Stuffed with antiques and oddities this place is a must see vintage collection for any antique lover.
  10. Hello! Good Morning!: Brighten your day with this joyful house of cultural gifts and trinkets. 


8 Other Fun Things to do in Portland Oregon

As an ever changing city, Portland is never shy of cool things to do. Here’s a small list of some other options to look into while you’re in town. 

  1. Fairs and Festivals: From food and music to UFOs and giant pumpkins, Portland knows how to through a festival, so do some research and find one that excites you!
  2. Flea and Street Markets: Rummage through treasures and trinkets at one of the many temporary parking lot markets. 
  3. Pop Up Art: Fascinating and interactive art exhibitions are always popping up all over the city and can be a great way to connect with local and traveling artists. 
  4. Live Music: Like art, live music is a big part of Portland cultural and there’s nothing like enjoying your favorite music outdoors.
  5. Take a Class: Taking a class is an excellent way to learn a new skill and PDX has plenty to choose from. From jewelry, pottery, culinary, and dance!
  6. The Oregon Coast: With its breathtaking beaches and towering rock formations, a visit to the Oregon coast is always encouraged if you have the time. Click here to read more about Camping on the Oregon Coast!
  7. Volunteer: Volunteering might be the last thing you want to do when enjoying time in the city but it’s a great way to get involved and give back. 
  8. Unique Stays: If you’re looking for a place to stay in Portland, it’s worth doing some research. From tiny house digs to mystic hotels, there’s no shortage of cool, temporary crash pads.

It’s no secret that Portland, Oregon is one of my favorite cities. With its love for local art, food, shops, and outdoor spaces you are sure to never run out of things to explore. So grab a bike or take a hike and enjoy all the sites and sounds Portland has to offer! 


Meet Bre Henderson

I am a full time rver and solo traveler from the Midwest who enjoys hiking, writing, reading, and just sitting with nature. With a degree in Environmental Justice, I am also passionate about connecting people to the environment and discussing ways to make outdoor recreation more inclusive.

Bre Henderson


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